Excuse us for the tardiness of this post, but hey, it was a Flyers night last night…
It wasn’t vintage Cole Hamels, but it was nonetheless a solid outing for the Phils starter as he continues to find his way back from inconsistency. He managed 6 2/3 innings, allowing just two runs – both on solo jacks in the 6th – en route to a 4-2 Phillies victory.
Against an offense that has the potential for big things, Hamels was not as locked in as he could be. However, in the 109 pitches he threw, 68 of them were for strikes, a manageable figure. Those two mistakes in the sixth came on a breaking ball that found too much plate (HR by McGehee) and a fastball middle in (HR by Hart). For those troubles he found himself in, he also chipped in offensively with an RBI-double in the 3rd, scoring Paul Hoover.
In the 7th inning, after Hamels managed two outs on three pitches to the bottom of the order, Charlie Manuel decided to bring in Chad Durbin to face Rickie Weeks, who slapped a slow roller to third for a base hit. Manuel obviously went with the righty-righty matchup, but why not keep Cole in there to face him? Hamels had 109 pitches to that point and Weeks was 0-for-3 against him. Instead, he wasted Durbin.
The next inning was the meat of the order, with Braun and Fielder coming to the plate. Who did Manuel use? Danys Baez, in what seemed like an attempt at a confidence boost. It ended up working out, although Baez likes to make things tricky, as he allowed Braun and Fielder to reach, before getting McGehee to ground into a double-play.
Also, great seeing J.C. Romero throw a perfect inning in the ninth to grab a save. Not only did it keep the Phils from having to use Jose Contreras again, but it doubled as an injection of faith from the coaching staff. He tossed 18 pitches, 12 for strikes, and commanded the strike zone well.
The offense was not great either, but were good enough to eek out a win on the road, an important characteristic of a top-notch ballclub. The Phils scored three through the first three frames and got multiple hits on the night from Victorino, Polanco, and Howard. Still, the 12 men left-on-base is unacceptable and seems to be a recurring theme for this offense.
Next up, two with the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates at CBP.